Eczema

I wish someone had told me when I was younger that this is perfectly normal and that my children would outgrow it.  My twins had horrible eczema.  Their skin in the bends of their elbows, knees, and their neck stayed inflamed.  I used rx medication and it didn’t seem to help.  I didn’t have a doctor tell me, “oh, this is perfectly normal and they will outgrow the condition.”  I wish I had.  It would have taken a lot of stress off of my shoulders.

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People used to look at my children like they had some crazy disease.  My children were self conscious about how they looked.  Now, a decade later, it’s easier to find information on this condition. In the picture above, my son is around 6 and scratching up a storm.  For all the other mothers out there, I have  a few tips besides the creams your doctor will prescribe that worked for me.

  1. Oatmeal bath!  Their skin will be so soft.  It’s not a cure all, but it helps them with the scratching in my experience.
  2. I would turn the air on at night in the summer so they could comfortably sleep in pajamas that would cover their elbows to keep them from scratching so bad.  Try telling a 2 yr old he cannot scratch and good luck with that!  It’s such a balance between keeping them cool, letting the spots get air and trying to cover it if possible so that they would not be able to scratch!
  3. Detergent!  Try to go with mild or chemical/dye free laundry detergents.  Common sense says that the less chemicals touching those raw parts of the skin, the better!
  4. Stay out of the grass! I know that small children play, and they should.  I found that when my children were on the playground with wood chips, they were perfectly fine.  When they rolled around on the grass, which makes everyone itch, it was really difficult to stop the scratching.

FYI, most likely they will outgrow it! Even if they do not, it won’t be as severe as those first few years.  My twins both have it. One of my twins have outgrown the condition, and you would never know he had it.  Honestly, I thought they would scar from all that scratching, but luckily he didn’t.   My other twin, he still gets a little dry from time to time in his elbows and behind his knees, but it’s not really obvious to the naked eye.  Plus, he’s old enough now to apply ointment himself whenever he needs to. Unfortunately, like teeth brushing and putting the toilet lid down, he still has to be reminded sometimes.  Still much easier!

Did I mention that there are a lot more options for ointment now?  There are! In the beginning, if I ran out of cream I had to call the doctor.  Now, you can seriously get a variety of different creams at your local Wal-Mart!  If it had been as handy as grabbing a tube while picking up the groceries when my kids were little, it would have been sooooo much easier.  However, it is now.   Just know that you are not alone, your child is not the only one with this condition, and it really does get easier!

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